PORT OF SPAIN –– In the dead of night when most people were in their warm beds, Avocat residents were outside anxiously directing traffic after a massive hole appeared, swallowing most of Avocat Main Road yesterday.
The hole, triggered by a broken four inch water main, developed around 2 a.m., triggering panic among residents.
Anxious villagers in an attempt to prevent an impending road accident, quickly barricaded the hole with their cars. Some waved torchlights to alert motorists. By day break the hole measured 15 feet in depth and parts of the road had cracked up to 60 feet on either sides.
When the Guardian visited the scene around noon, millions of gallons of water continued to gush from the broken main. Workers from the Water and Sewerage Authority as well as the Ministry of Works and Transport were at the site but officials said nobody had figured out how to rectify the problem because the line was broken in several places.
Vehicles could traverse in single file but there was no attempt by police to restrict heavy vehicles.
“This is a disaster. They should block off the road from St Johns Trace until Ralph Narine Trace,” resident Marlon Macaulay said.
Saying the water was now channelling across the road, bringing slush downstairs his property, Macaulay said WASA was taking too long to rectify the problem.
Councillor for Avocat Doodnath Mayrhoo said yesterday that more than 5,000 vehicles traverse the road on a daily basis. He said for years he has been calling on WASA to replace the 50-year-old asbestos main which has been broken in 50 odd places.
“It is years now we clamouring for this. If you drive down from Fyzabad to Thick Village, there are 30 plus areas where WASA has dug up to do repairs on the lines,” Mayrhoo said.
He lamented that after calling on the police to respond to the sink hole, he was told there was a manpower shortage.
Other residents said they will be spending Carnival with no water.
Contated yesterday, communications manager at WASA Daniel Plenty said he will investigate the matter and issue a comment.